New Melbourne centre Junior Sa’u began life with his new club on a positive note over the weekend, scoring in Storm’s first trial match of the pre-season against Queensland Cup outfit Easts Tigers.
As preparations for the 2013 NRL season step up, the former Newcastle player will be hoping he can build on his performance in Melbourne’s next trial match.
Melbourne will play their second trial match of the pre-season this Friday when Craig Bellamy’s side take on Canberra at Simonds Stadium, Geelong.
Melbourne Storm Development Coach Adam O’Brien believes Sa’u’s first up performance was an encouraging one.
“His kick chase defence was really good, he put in a lot of effort getting the team down there,” O’Brien said.
“We probably had limited opportunities to look at him with the ball, just with the way the game played out during the time he was out there.
“We are looking forward to having another look at Junior in the coming weeks and seeing what he can do with the football.”
Sa’u, along with a number of Storm’s new recruits will be looking for a strong performance in Friday’s trial against the Raiders in order to secure his place on the plane to the United Kingdom for the World Club Challenge.
It has been a lengthy pre-season for the powerful ball runner after Sa’u linked up with Storm in mid November beginning training shortly after.
“The main thing for the new guys that come to us is just being consistent each and every training run,” O’Brien said.
The New Zealand born Sa’u will add significant depth to Melbourne’s senior list. He will be one of a number of outside backs looking to fill the void left in the centres following the departure of Queensland representative and 2012 premiership player, Dane Nielsen to the Warriors at the end of last season.
The 25 year-old has plenty of experience at first grade level, having played 86 games for Newcastle during his five seasons at the Knights from 2008 to 2012.
In 2012, Sa'u made eight appearances under new Knights coach Wayne Bennett as part of a revamped Newcastle line-up. The New Zealand international scored two tries in his eight games last season with the Knights.
Melbourne’s trial match against Canberra at Simonds Stadium will cap off the club’s preparations before leaving to compete in the World Club Challenge later this month. The match will provide a great opportunity for the passionate sporting public of Geelong to experience a top quality rugby league fixture.
Tickets for Melbourne’s trial match against Canberra at Simonds Stadium, Geelong can be purchased here.